Skip to main content

Not enough known about chronic brain injury

John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus, public health | November 24, 2009

I’m skeptical that this will make a difference.  We have very little knowledge about repetitive trauma to the brain and chronic brain injury.  All a neurologist will be able to say after a concussion is that the player is back to his/her steady state.  There is little data to inform whether or not a second, third, fourth, etc. traumatic event to the head will lead to chronic problems.

Until we understand this topic, doctors will not be able to adequately advise patients (players) as to their long-term risk.

Comments to “Not enough known about chronic brain injury

  1. Injuries in sports are really the dark side of the entertainment. It’s exciting to see people get hurt, but not permanently.
    John Edwards

  2. Look at all of the injuries, in particular, concussions in today’s sport of football…even last week DeSean Jackson had a head to head collision with a defender in which they both suffered concussions. See the story at ESPN.

  3. I just watched a special on ESPN’s E:60 about a football player that only had 2 concussions. He ended up being mentally impaired and part of his skull had to be removed. Stories like this is what makes us want to learn more and more about brain injuries.

  4. Probably Mohammed Ali’s condition was a result of the constant beatings to his head, no? Maybe things don’t show up on a scan, but they will show up later if the damage is repeated over and over.

  5. Thanks to author for important information about chronic brain.I also want to write about this :
    One rationale for equating “brain death” (BD) with death is that it reduces the body to a mere collection of organs, as evidenced by purported imminence of asystole despite maximal therapy. To test this hypothesis, cases of prolonged survival were collected and examined for factors influencing survival capacity. METHODS: Formal diagnosis of BD with survival of 1 week or longer. More than 12,200 sources yielded approximately 175 cases meeting selection criteria; 56 had sufficient information for meta-analysis. Diagnosis was judged reliable if standard criteria were described or physicians made formal declarations. Data were analyzed by means of Kaplan-Meier curves, with treatment withdrawals as “censored” data, compared by log-rank test. RESULTS: Survival probability over time decreased exponentially in two phases, with initial half-life of 2 to 3 months, followed at 1 year by slow decline to more than 14 years.

  6. I find it interesting that this is being considered for football, yet I’ve never heard it brought up for boxing. I imagine that would be just as damaging to the brain, as evidenced by such boxers as Mohammad Ali.

  7. yes currently many cases of brain injury are coming forward. this is very serious issue related to health. many neurologist are making developments in brain surgery to give good life for people suffering from brain injuries.

  8. Head concussions are a hot topic nowadays. This subject was recently mentioned on the Wanda Sikes show.

  9. An independent neurologist will provide a better and more objective clinical evaluation of concussions than a team physician. Hopefully, this will lead to fewer concussions going unreported by the players or unnnoticed by the coaches. It is crucial for players to be kept on the bench after a concussion according to guidelines published by the American Academy of Neurology. The ImPACT computer progam can be used to assess whether a player has returned to his or her baseline neurological state. As long as the neurologist has the authority to keep a player out of the next game or two, this is a positive step for the NFL.

Comments are closed.